[ View the story "Kalashnikov's invention: A blessing or a curse? " on Storify] Kalashnikov's invention: A blessing or a curse? Netizens weigh in on the global impact of the assault rifle that has killed more people than any other firearm.
The Stream· Tue, Dec 24 2013 12:01:13
#Kalashnikov will be remembered for making the AK47, but through it we also saw how one man's criminal is another man's freedom fighter.Ahmed Kadry
His death on Monday of unspecified causes sparked a conversation online, as people shared their views on the impact of his invention.
Mikhail Kalashnikov lived to the age of 94, while millions of victims killed by his invention didn't get the chance to go through teenage.Imad Bazzi
RIP Mikhail Kalashnikov, you are the reason for the millions of RIP #AK47TweetZaade
Tens of millions of Kalashnikov rifles have been produced. What if Mikhail Kalashnikov applied his genius to peace?
Thank you Mikhail Kalashnikov for creating the symbol of our lost humanity, the AK-47. You can now rust in peace.Aحmad H. عggour
However, some argued that even if the AK-47 did not exist, the number of weapon casualties would remain the same.
If Kalashnikov had never lived or become a gun designer, roughly same # of people would've died worldwide. Lots of other guns out there.Stephen Walt
Initially, Kalashnikov had hoped to build farming equipment, but his desire to design a rifle was triggered when his tank was hit by
Nazi forces in 1941.
"Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer," Kalashnikov was once quoted as saying. "I always wanted to construct agricultural machinery."
Mikhail Kalashnikov wanted to design farm equipment, but instead designed something that made millions buy the farm.Jay Divanji
...but he originally just wanted to help farmers. Kalashnikov once aspired to design farm equipment.CeeJayLouis™
Should we mourn or celebrate? Sorry no ironic legacy of him like Nobel! AK47 assault rifle designer #Kalashnikov dies
Despite the criticism, Kalashnikov told the Associated Press in
that he was untroubled by the invention of the AK-47 because "it's the politicians who are to blame for failing to come to an agreement and resorting to violence".
Some online agreed, hailing him as a hero:
Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47, dies at the age of 94. I expect all flags bearing his weapon to be at half mast. #RIPSerge
interview with Al Jazeera's Josh Rushing, Kalashnikov explained why fighters find his weapon superior to others and why it has become so widespread.
AK-47 - 13 Oct 07 - Part 1Al Jazeera English
The assault rifle has, at times, become a revolutionary symbol and its use is widespread among guerrillas and numerous armies. In an attempt to stress its influence, some social media users posted pictures of its appearance in various parts of the world, including the flags of Mozambique and Lebanon's Hezbollah.
The inventor of the #Kalashnikov rifle #AK47, Mikhail Kalashnikov has died. His legacy on the flag of #Mozambique...
Kalashnikov's AK-47 is on two flags Hezbollah & Mozambique. "Warfare is politics by other means"- Von C. RIP Comrade!
Kalashnikov died in his home city of Izhevsk, where production of his assault rifle continues.